2005:
The Broadway Disney hit Beauty and the Beast celebrates its 11th anniversary. The musical, which is the sixth longest-running show in Broadway history, originally opened at the Palace Theatre on this day in 1994.
1882:
Conductor Leopold Anthony Stokowski, who conducted the music for and
appeared in Disney's 1940 release Fantasia, is born in London, England.
Known as the conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the NBC Symphony Orchestra, and the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra, Stokowski was also the founder of the New York City Symphony. A celebrated transcriber of music originally written in other forms, his version of the Toccata and Fugue in D minor, originally for organ, served as the opening item in Disney's Fantasia (a film which brought classical music to a wider audience). Stokowski is credited as being the first conductor to adopt the seating plan that is used by most orchestras today. 
1927:
Disney's Alice Comedy Alice's Circus Daze is released. This film debuts Lois Hardwick as Alice, the fourth and final actress to play the role.
1946:
Academy Award-winning actress Hayley Mills is born Hayley Catherine
Rose Vivien Mills to actor John Mills and novelist-playwright Mary Hayley
Bell in London, England. Walt Disney's wife first saw 12-year-old Mills in the movie
 Tiger Bay. She arranged for Mills to meet Walt and the result was her American film debut
Pollyanna (which earned Mills a special Academy Award). Also a Golden Globe Award winner,
her Disney credits include The Parent Trap (as twins Sharon and Susan), In Search of the CastawaysSummer Magic,
 The Moon-Spinners and That Darn Cat!. The success of the song "Let's Get Together" (which she sang in The Parent
 Trap) also lead to the release of a record album on Disney's Buena Vista label, Let's Get Together with Hayley Mills.
 During her six-year run at Disney, Mills was probably the most popular child actress of the era!
1953:
The Mickey Mouse cartoon The Simple Things, featuring the voice of Jim Macdonald 
as Mickey and directed by Charles Nichols, is released. Mickey and Pluto plan on spending the 
day fishing but many mishaps turn there fun into anything but simple. It will be the last Mickey Mouse cartoon until 
Mickey's Christmas Carol some 30 years later!
1954:
Actor, comedian and musician Rick Moranis, the voice of Rutt in Disney's 2003 animated Brother Bear, is born Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Disney fans also know him as
Wayne Szalinski in the comedy feature Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and the 3-D park attraction film Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. (Coming to prominence in the 1980s on Second City Television, Moranis later appeared in such comedy features as GhostbustersSpaceballs, Little Shop of HorrorsThe Flintstones, and My Blue Heaven.)
1957:
The Disney Studio holds a screen test for a relatively unknown actor named Guy Williams for their new Zorro TV series. (When Walt sees the results, he will be convinced he has found his Zorro!) 
1961:
Actress Jane Leeves - the voice of the Ladybug in Disney's 1996
 James and the Giant Peach and the voice of Athena in Disney's 1998
 TV series Hercules - is born in Ilford, Essex, England. (Originally a regular on The
 Benny Hill Show, TV fans will recognize her as Daphne Moon from the sitcom Frasier.)
1964:
                        "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" finally arrives at   
                          the World's Fair. (It had been flown to New York the 
                         day before but traffic had prevented the exhibit from being delivered to the Illinois Pavilion.) The WED technicians scramble to install Mr. Lincoln in hopes of having him ready for a special April 20 preview. Due to technical problems, the exhibit will not be ready for the preview nor will it open with the rest of the World's Fair.
1969:
Various musical cues are recorded at the Walt Disney Productions Recording Stage (in California) for Disneyland's much anticipated Haunted Mansion attraction.
1983:
The Disney Channel (a pay TV network) first airs at 7 a.m. with a program
titled Good Morning MickeyOther programs this day include MouserciseWelcome to Pooh
Corner, a "mommy and me" themed show called You and Me, Kid and a game show titled Contraption.
Only airing 16 hours a day, the channel will later expand to 18 in April 1984. In December 1986,
Disney Channel will commence full-time broadcasting 24 hours everyday.
1984:
Actress America Ferrera is born in Los Angeles, California. She appears in Disney Channel's 2002 Gotta Kick It Up (her first TV movie) as Yolanda "Yoli" and supplies the voice of Fawn for the 2008 Tinker Bell.  A Golden Globe winner, television fans know Ferrera as the star of the ABC series Ugly Betty.
1994:
Disney's first stage show, Beauty and the Beast: A New
 Musical, officially opens on Broadway at the Palace
 Theater with Tom Bosley as Belle's father Maurice,
 Terrence Mann as the Beast, and Susan Egan as Belle.
(The show will move to the Lunt-Fontanne Theater in 1999.)

Actor Moises Arias is born in New York City. His Disney Channel credits include Hannah
 Montana (as Rico), The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, the Disney Channel Original Movie Dadnapped, and
 Wizards of Waverly Place.
1998:
The Disneyland show "Festival of Fools" gives its last performance.

Toon Disney, a 24-hour cable television channel, debuts.  
2002:
An area of Disney World's Animal Kingdom - featuring the new attractions Triceratop
Spin and Primeval Whirl - has an official grand opening. The mini-land, located next to DinoLand
USA, also features Boardwalk-type games including Dino-Whamma, a classic mallet strength game; Mammoth
Marathon, a racing derby; Comet Crasher, a goblet toss game; Fossil Fueler, a water-squirt game themed to a
prehistoric gas station; and Bronto-Score, a basketball game.
2003:
Walt Disney Pictures' Holes - starring Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, 
Patricia Arquette and Shia LaBeouf - premieres in theaters. 

Also released is the Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media feature 
Ghosts of the Abyss, a documentary made by filmmaker James Cameron.
2004:
Disney's Beauty and the Beast celebrates its 10th anniversary on 
Broadway. It ranks as the 4th highest grossing musical of all time 
(recently passing Miss Saigon).
2006:
A groundbreaking ceremony for the Oriental Land Company's newest project - a permanent Cirque du Soleil theater - takes place at the 
Tokyo Disney Resort. The ceremony takes place at the site reserved for the theater next to the Disney Ambassador Hotel. The show is expected to open in 2008.
1941:
Disney's Goofy short Baggage Buster, directed by Jack Kinney and animated by 
Art Babbitt, is released. Goofy is given a deceptively simple job: put a magician's trunk on an 
incoming train. Unfortunately for him, the trunk has a magical mind of its own!
1997:
The fourth annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival begins in Florida.
Leopold Stokowski appeared on
 screen in Fantasia - conducting the
the segments "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" and "Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria." He also spoke
to and shook hands with
Mickey Mouse!

1955:
Newsweek runs "A Wonderful World" - an article about Walt Disney's "universe" of new television shows, films and theme park.
2007:
        Disney's Beauty and the Beast celebrates its 13th Broadway anniversary.
More than 125 past & present cast members who have performed in the long-
running show gather onstage following this day's matinee performance for a 
giant cast photo. A private party follows. (Beauty and the Beast will play its final 
performance at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre July 29.)
1958:
Disney composer and orchestrator Edward H. Plumb passes away in California. Originally from Illinois, Plumb's work for Disney began with the 1938 short Mother Goose Goes Hollywood. Over the next 20 years his credits included Bambi (which earned him the first of four Academy Award nominations), The Three CaballerosDavy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier, and Johnny Tremain.
1950:
Award-winning director, choreographer, and producer Kenny Ortega is born in Palo Alto, California. His vast Disney credits include Newsies, all the High School Musical films, The Cheetah Girls 2, and Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert. (Initially known for working with famous dancer-choreographer Gene Kelly on the 1980 Olivia Newton-John film Xanadu, Ortega went on to choreograph the 1987 blockbuster film Dirty Dancing. In May 2009, he began work on the scheduled Michael Jackson This Is It concert tour.)
1951:
Disney Imagineer and writer Bruce Gordon is born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada
 (but grew up in Southern California). An avid collector of Disneyana, Gordon was
hired by Walt Disney Imagineering in 1980. He first worked on Epcot and later such Disneyland
attractions as Splash Mountain, the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Tarzan's Treehouse and Finding Nemo
 Submarine Voyage. Gordon was also well-known for editing and writing many feature articles on Disney for both Disney
 publications and national magazines.
"A painter paints his pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence. We provide the music, and you provide the silence." -Leopold Stokowski
1947:
Film, stage and television actor James Woods - the voice of the villainous Hades in Disney's animated Hercules and the video game Kingdom Hearts - is born in Vernel, Utah. His Disney voice credits also include Rolie Polie Olie: The Great Defender of Fun and Recess: School's Out.
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2009:
California Institute of the Arts celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of the 
late animator and educator Jules Engel at REDCAT at the Walt Disney Concert 
Hall in Los Angeles. Engel's career ranged from such Disney classics as Fantasia and Bambi to 
co-creating the cartoon characters Mr. Magoo and Gerald McBoing Boing. 
As a youngster, Gordon built a miniature replica of Disneyland attractions in his parents' garage!


Disney Channel debuts
A few days before Disneyland opened, Walt ran out of funds to finish the landscaping. 
He quickly assembled his landscaping team together and told them to start putting exotic sounding Latin names on the plant labels and stick them by the weeds. Disneyland opened 
with flowers, plants and weeds and no one knew the difference! 

1936:
Disney's Silly Symphony short Three Little Wolves, directed by David Hand, is
 released. A Disney take on "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" - Fifer Pig and Fiddler Pig continually set off the wolf
 alarm to Practical Pig's annoyance. But unbeknownst to them, they are being stalked by the Big Bad Wolves' sons!
Everything You Ever Imagined and More!
2010:
"The Curious Case of Mr. Dabney," the 3rd episode of Disney Channel's newest
 family sitcom Good Luck Charlie, first airs.

The ABC Family Original Movie Beauty & the Briefcase, starring Hilary Duff, premieres.
A freelance writer looking for romance sells a story to Cosmopolitan magazine about finding love in the workplace
and goes undercover at a Finance Company.
1976:
Actress, writer, television director, television producer and singer Melissa Joan Catherine 
Hart is born on Long Island, New York. First known her title roles in the television series Clarissa Explains It 
All (1991-1994), and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1996-2003), Hart was the voice of Becky Detweiler in Disney's 
Recess: School's Out. She also stars in Melissa & Joey, an ABC Family original television series distributed by  
Disney-ABC Domestic Television.
2014:
Bears, a nature documentary film about a family of grizzly bears living in the coastal mountainous ranges of Alaska, is released theatrically by Disneynature.
1990:
Actress Brittany Leanna "Britt" Robertson is born in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In 2013, Robertson was cast in the Brad Bird film Tomorrowland, opposite George Clooney and Hugh Laurie.